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700 quintillion reasons to deny Earth is unusual

Hubble galaxies/NASA

From Discover:

Earth May Be a 1-in-700-Quintillion Kind of Place

One of the most fundamental requirements for a planet to sustain life is to orbit in the “habitable zone” of a star — the “Goldilocks” region where the temperature is just right and liquid water can exist. Astronomers have, to this point, discovered around 30 exoplanets in the habitable zones of stars. Simply extrapolating that figure based on the known number of stars suggests that there should be about 50 billion such planets in the Milky Way alone. Probability seems to dictate that Earth-twins are out there somewhere.

But according to Zackrisson, most planets in the universe shouldn’t look like Earth. His model indicates that Earth’s existence presents a mild statistical anomaly in the multiplicity of planets. Most of the worlds predicted by his model exist in galaxies larger than the Milky Way and orbit stars with different compositions — an important factor in determining a planet’s characteristics. His research indicates that, from a purely statistical standpoint, Earth perhaps shouldn’t exist. More.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG But we shouldn’t delude ourselves that facts matter here. Naturalism will not be cheated of its insignificant Earth as long as great graphics can supplant evidence and reason. Which is a long time. What is at stake is an entire firmly entrenched worldview, which has well-rewarded those who have laboured to make our entire culture reflect it.

As Evolution News & Views notes,

One in 700 quintillion is “a fairly lucky hand,” a “mild statistical anomaly”? As Scharping points out, that is one in seven zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero. I’m not sure if the understatement is intended to be droll. But note the last sentence: Statistically speaking, “Earth perhaps shouldn’t exist.” Read the rest.

That’s “terrifying” all right if the image of humanity you carry around in your head is the one associated with materialism, insisting that we are ordinary, unexceptional, hairless apes, cosmic flotsam, hardly worth a yawn. More.

That vision has launched countless fortunes and positions of power and influence. Don’t expect the beneficiaries to let it die quietly.

<em>coffee</em> cup with moustache by thegreatmoustache on DaWanda.com
another cup, please/Mira Mira,PressLoft

And as Creation-Evolution Headlines notes,

Speculations about alien habitats have not slowed down, of course. Steven J. Dick has a new book on the subject with the usual talking points (see Astrobiology Magazine review). Space.com expanded the search space to “exomoons” around exoplanets, complete with references to Hollywood movies about Endor’s Ewoks and Pandora’s Na’vi. One must remember, however, that hosting life requires more than an appropriate-sized planet in a suitable location. A Harvard press release points out that Earth-like planets will need to have Earth-like interiors, too. And Becky Oskin at Live Science points out that alien life would be vulnerable to greenhouse effects on their worlds (think Venus). That kind of warming is as powerful as proximity to the sun. Given an increase in carbon dioxide, “A planet like Earth will eventually change to a very warm climate, and it will occur relatively abruptly,” one researcher said. More.

National Geographic is quoted there, invoking the multiverse:

Yet the universe’s overwhelming size all but guarantees that Earth-like planets exist, as a matter of probability. Along this line of thinking, some physicists argue that, like Earth among planets, our universe is one of innumerably many—but that ours happens to have the conditions that allow us to exist. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here to study and write about it.

Proponents of this multiverse model claim that it neatly explains our universe’s habitability, but many scientists find it irritatingly circular in its reasoning. More.

There are now treatments for the problem of needing science to avoid circular reasoning.

See also: Breaking, breaking: Earth is special after all


Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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Ha! No one outside geosynchronous orbit :) RexTugwell
I would also ask with Fermi “Where is everybody?” You could, but who would hear you? Mung
That's your evidence refuting ex nihilo creation? And here I thought the shameless, self-promotion of your GaryGaulin Kooksville Pet Theory of Intelligent Design was funny. RexTugwell
The same relationship is found in field generating electronic devices. One variable increases as another decreases. For capacitive loads see the current (I) and voltage (E) over Time shown in the illustration at the bottom right of the page: http://c03.apogee.net/contentplayer/?coursetype=foe&utilityid=wppi&id=4710 For inductive loads see the "Reactive Power" illustration: http://www.home-energy-metering.com/power-factor.html There is a (singularity) crossover point at 0 but wave energy is (in one form or another) still there. From my knowledge the Big Bang Theory has the same sort of thing going on, but only in one zero crossing direction. GaryGaulin
I'm afraid time does suddenly appear. No space, no time. I haven't heard any evidence to the contrary. RexTugwell
Rex the Big Bang Theory does not contain evidence for "ex nihilo" (out of nothing) creation. Everything that exists is always still there. Matter is simply in another state. Time does not suddenly appear. GaryGaulin
That's right, Gary. The big bang was the beginning of all matter, energy and time. Do you have evidence to the contrary aside from the multiverse fairy tale? RexTugwell
We have big bang cosmology to make that very rational inference.
You believe that the Big Bang Theory is evidence for ex nihilo creation? I want to make sure I read that right. GaryGaulin
I would also ask with Fermi "Where is everybody?" RexTugwell
Gary, why would you think I'd come to such a ridiculous conclusion: molten iron core therefore ex nihilo creation? We have big bang cosmology to make that very rational inference. To say that earth is not unusual is indeed an argument from ignorance; ignorance of what is necessarry for complex, intelligent life. RexTugwell
Rex are you saying that the lack of knowledge of any other habitable planets is evidence for ex nihilo creation? GaryGaulin
"might actually be true" Keep on keepin' the faith, Gary A habitable planet, along with its scores of other life-sustaining features like a molten iron core, is also lucky enough to have scores of extraterrestrial life-sustaining features such as an anomalously large moon orbiting a G-type main sequence star. One in 700 quintillion may be a bit generous RexTugwell
This "Earth is unusual" claim is a classic argument from ignorance. There is not enough known about other planets to reliably reach such a conclusion. The opposite might actually be true. GaryGaulin
You mean we live in a galaxy with no Klingons, Cardassians, Bajorans, Romulans, Ferengi or Borg??!!!?? (okay, I can do with out the latter two!) I'm devastated! Shaka when the walls fell! DonaldM
Earth May Be a 1-in-700-Quintillion Kind of Place Statistically insignificant. Mung
There is not only a Goldilocks Zone around each star, there is a Goldilocks Zone in each galaxy. ALL of the stars near the center of a galaxy continuously bathe each other's planets in radiation strong enough to sterilize them. And wherever the density of stars is high enough, the probability of a neighboring star going supernova pretty well eliminates any Earthlike planet from reaching maturity intact. So, yes. The odds of Earth existing at all, anywhere in the universe are darn small. And the odds of Earthlings discovering another planet with intelligent life on it over the next 100 million years are also darn small. mahuna

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